Special Picture # 293 – Dave and Butch’s Baptism – June, 1940

This is an excerpt from a letter written to my father, Lad, while he was in Venezuela in June of 1940.

This morning I got up at nine and got the dinner started and then rushed up and got dressed for church, because this was the day Mr. Bollman had appointed for baptismal services, and not only was young grandson to be baptized along with three other babies, but our own David was also to receive the same sacrament along with Evelyn Hughes and Robert Shattuck. Your nephew was very good during the entire ceremony but celebrated by wetting himself afterwards while his father was holding him. They decided to leave on this account before the ceremony was over and stopped at MacKenzie’s drugstore on the way home because Zeke was thirsty. Baby evidently did not approve of this because he upset a glass of Coca-Cola and Mac, in his haste to mop up the spilling, upset another glass himself.

These pictures were all taken on the same day. Both Dave and Raymond, Jr. (Butch) were baptized on June 9, 1940

Grandpa, Dick, Ced, Biss, Zeke holding Raymond, Jr. (Butch) and Dan.

Biss and Raymond Jr. (Butch)

Dan holding Butch and Ced

 

Raymond, Jr. (Butch) and Dan on the side lawn

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Trumbull – To the Guions Who Will Not be Home For Christmas (5) – Quick Notes to Dan, Paulette and Dave – December, 1945

And so this letter and this week finally come to an end. I hope you especially enjoyed the day-by-day adventures of Ced as he flew his new airplane from Trumbull, Connecticut to Lethbridge, Canada. The conclusion of this trip to Anchorage will be covered in A CHRISTMAS REPORT FROM TRUMBULL, CONNECTICUT, which I will be posting from December 25th to the 29th.

Page 4   12/23/1945

Dear Dan:

With the passing of General Patton and the news that he is to be buried in Luxembourg naturally raised the question in my mind if this was one of the cemetery locations you had surveyed.

Today has been one of the real wintry days that you used to enjoy as a youngster. The snow is white and deep and has been swirling around all day in a high wind. I can hear it howling now and even under Lad’s expert eye the furnace has not been able to keep the house even comfortably warm, going full speed. Weatherman promises no letup tomorrow or Christmas. Winter sure is starting in with serious intent. This is the season of the year when I shall miss you and Dave most of all, but when that little elf Hope escapes from Pandora’s box, it was to serve in just such cases as this, so I shall look forward to 100% PLUS representation next year when Christmas again rolls around. Now that the Christmas rush is over I have hopes of getting some of the things Paulette wants that we were unable to obtain. Another box or so will be going forward to you soon, as well as Baby’s layette which we have slowly been accumulating. By the way, three pieces of Government mail reached me this week. Two of them I am enclosing — Counter receipt which I take it you are to sign and return to cover insurance premium, and the other is a registration from the Draft Board at Anchorage, if you please. The third is the check you spoke of — at least I assume this is the one — which I am to retain. It is drawn to your order for $100 and represents the second installment of your mustering out pay. In any event it is being credited to your account here subject to your order for merchandise.

 

Dear Paulette:

While I know you must be happy with your family this first peaceful Christmas after so many years of war, yet I do wish you could also be with us all here so we could show you the good-will part of the Christmas spirit and try to make you feel the love we all have for you for yourself as well as because you are Dan’s wife and sweetheart. Happy days are ahead for us all. Lovingly, your   DAD

Dear Dave:

I am looking hopefully as well as longingly for your return in Spring or early summer when I hope things will be shaping up better than they have been for many years, for you to take over at the office and make things zip. I’m getting sort of tired of carrying things on alone, particularly when I don’t feel so hot, like at present with cold germs camping on my doorstep. After about six months of young blood actively at work, out “making friends and influencing people”, there will be an entirely different atmosphere, and it looks as though, from the financial angle, we would be able to do things in the way of new equipment and company advertising which we haven’t done for years. Meantime, take care of your health, learn all you can, make as many friends as possible, and head for home with the least possible delay when they give you the signal. Meanwhile, a Merry Christmas from all of us, but especially, your   DAD

Tomorrow, more Special Pictures.

Next week I’ll begin a week of letters written in 1942. Both Lad and Dan are in the Service of Uncle Sam, Ced is in Alaska working for Woodley Air as a mechanic and bush pilot and the other boys are still at home.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad, Marian, Dan and Dick (1) – Details of Ced’s Trip Back to Alaska – December, 1943

Trumbull, Conn., Dec. 12, 1943

Dear Lad, Marian, Dan and Dick:

A letter from Ced:  “ Dec. 2, Seward, Alaska, aboard S.S. ALASKA. Well, I’m on the way. Don’t expect me till I get there tho. It may take me all month the way people talk. I’m set to get to Seattle via the above, but from there ?????  The previous plans fell through as passage out of Juneau couldn’t be booked until Jan. 10th. I may still go up from Seattle to Vancouver to take the C. P. (Canadian Pacific) east, but I’ll decide that after talking to various agents in Seattle. I’ll take anything on rail or by air that will get me East, and even a bus if it comes down to that. I guess one of the railroads will have an empty seat before very long.   The last two weeks have been hectic, what with trying to dispose, loan or otherwise get rid of all my stuff and in collecting clothes, etc., for this trip. Restrictions have been relaxed considerably and all I had to do was to get a permit to depart and return from and to the Territory of Alaska, and on the boat we only need to check our cameras, electric razors, flashlights, binoculars, etc. Baggage isn’t checked otherwise. Seward is sure lots prettier with its post-fire construction. They have very modern fireproof buildings attractively designed. Food is somewhat cheaper and of better quality than that obtainable in Anchorage restaurants. We had a swell trip down in the train today and apparently there are a good many pleasant people making the trip south– many of them friends and acquaintances from Anchorage. My ”cell mate” is a fellow from Anchorage Market whom I’d seen but never had met. He is pleasant seeming and will probably be a good travel companion. He has been up here for 13 years running and hasn’t seen his wife in all that time. The S. S. ALASKA is somewhat smaller than the McKINLEY, but is not too bad a boat. Our stateroom is at the tail end and will probably be plenty rough if we get into any kind of a swell on the Gulf. The McKINLEY, incidentally, is now aground in the Aleutians and has been for over a year. It is gradually disintegrating if it has not already succumbed to the Aleutian storms. Dan and I had a peach of a trip on the poor old boat and I shed a sincere tear for her as she fades out of the picture of picturesque Alaskan transportation. Saw Rusty last week and of course he wanted to be remembered to everyone. I had Thanksgiving dinner with the Morgans and friends at Chuck’s and Florence’s apartment. Keep a candle burning for me. Bon nuit, Ced”. That we will, Ced, old son, and we will fervently hope it won’t have to be a leftover Christmas tree candle, either.

Dan has made the headlines again. A copy of the London ARC bulletin shows on the front page a picture of Dan pointing out to two buddies the stone decorations on the entrance to the service club he so eloquently described in a recent letter. His letter says he is nursing a cold which stubbornly hangs on (Steer shy of that fine germ, Dan, which we are told is quite prevalent in England these days), is restive under what seems rather foolish censorship rules, and ends:  “I have been naughty again. I left my carbine cocked, which is very wrong when the gun is not being used. To emphasize the importance of my offense I have been restricted to quarters for two nights– which interfered with my educational progress at night school, besides bruising my delicate pride.” Cheer up, Dan, maybe the extra sleep will kill the cold.

I’ll be posting the rest of this letter tomorrow. It includes a discussion of mail service and news from Lad and Marian.

Judy Guion

Dear Dan – Letters to Lad, Dan and Ced (2) – June, 1942

Dan in uniform @ 1945

Page 2   6/7/1942

Dear Dan:

Barbara showed us your letter in which you said you had been made a corporal, which of course is only the first step toward the rank of general – – the proper designation for a Guion. I bet I’m prouder of this acknowledgment of your ability than you are. And, by the way, Lad writes there is a possibility that he will be able to get home next weekend and will probably take the same train that you took arriving in Bridgeport somewhere about 10:30, so as his superior officer, you will probably demand the proper salute from him as you meet quite by chance on board the train enroute to Connecticut.

I have just received notice that your income tax payment, 2nd installment, is due, which of course I shall pay when the time comes. You mentioned the heat. It must have been pretty uncomfortable down your way for Lad writes: “Although it was hotter by 10° or 15° in Venezuela, I don’t think I was ever more uncomfortable, due to high humidity. Regardless of how little energy I use, even just using my brain, I perspire. It really is HOT. Yesterday, according to custom, we all here in Aberdeen had a review. We went out on the Parade Grounds in our best uniforms, cartridge belts and rifles, at 11:30 and were there until a few minutes after 1:00. It was hot out there too and quite a number of the fellows passed out under the strain of standing at attention. However, I was not affected in the least.”

Dick says the battery in your car was shot so he bought a secondhand battery from Carl for $3, which I have paid. An interesting letter from Ced this week says he has been classified as 1-A 0, which he figures as meaning induction into the Army in the near future in non-combatant duty. He gives some other local news of people you probably know which you will probably read about when you get home next week, I hope, I hope, I hope. There will be some doubleheader of a celebration next week if both you laddies can get off together. Ced is getting to be a real sourdough. He is making his own bread. Now that is something even I have not attempted so I’ll have to resign in his favor when we can corral him in the old ranch once again.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the last section of this letter, written to Ced plus some general notes about friends and family.  To follow the War and the invasion of Alaska, go to  https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com. GP Cox does  very thorough research on each post. As you follow the posts, you will learn what actually happened – a piece of our history that was overshadowed by what was happening elsewhere. Thursday I’ll post a letter from Lad and on Friday, another letter from Grandpa,

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Dear Chillun (3) – Grandpa’s Message to Paulette and Dan – December, 1945

 

It is always so pleasant to hear from you, little daughter. Your reference to the “little king” reminds me that soon we celebrate all over the Christian world the birthday of another king with his message of peace on earth and goodwill to men”. I wish that spirit could be more universal than it is now but you and Dan are setting the right example from an international standpoint and I hope that in your personal relations one to another you will always be patient with one another’s shortcomings and generous in spirit so that our new little king will spend his happy childhood in a spirit of goodwill and peace. That is my Christmas wish to you for now and all the years to come. I hope you will feel like “chatting” again, and will always feel free to let me know what we can do for you over here to make you happy and compensate as far as we can from this distance for the lack of things you need and cannot obtain. The only trouble is that it takes so

 

Page 3   12/16/45

long for things to reach you. I suppose you think of us over here as being able to go in any store and choose what we want without trouble. While of course we are measurably better off over here than you are, we still are unable to obtain many of the things we want. This is due to several things. First, the switch of manufacturers from making war goods to civilian goods has been considerably slowed by strikes. Then, what goods are for sale are generally of poor quality and high priced. Added to this the fact that a lot of people have saved much money due to high wages paid for war work and are willing to pay fancy prices for comparatively (poor) quality, plus the fact that right at this season the stores can sell almost anything as Christmas gifts and you have a combination of circumstances that makes us who have even the rudiments of thriftiness disgusted and inclined to strike ourselves against buying anything until people get back their sense of proportion as to proper values. Take men’s shirts, as an example of one item Dan wants me to get. There is not a decent shirt for sale in any of the Bridgeport stores. The shirt counters are absolutely bare except for some gaudy, ridiculously expensive sport shirts, so hideous that even the anything-at-any-price customer hesitates. And when a few white shirts do happen to reach the merchant, a line of struggling females gathers about the counter and in a short time “the cupboard is bare” again. Perhaps in a month or two things will be nearer to normal but right now I certainly would not waste anyone’s money on shirts. This also applies to many other items. Stocks scarce, quality poor and prices high is pretty generally true of the retail stores. Merchandise from Sears Roebuck, when you can get it, is a far better buy, in my opinion.

Oh, by the way, Dan, while I think of it, and in case you want to change the beneficiary on your policies from me to Paulette, I have in my safe deposit box Cert. #N 1 232 683 dated Feb. 1st, 1942, for $2000 and #N 3 680 055 dated Sept. 1st, 1942, for $8000, both payable at present to A.D.G. as beneficiary.

And here’s a message from Manila dated Nov. 30. “Up to three days ago we were extremely busy. Then in the matter of 24 hours our radio circuit to Korea was taken off the air and our message center closed. It all happened so fast that we don’t quite believe it yet. The chances are we will either stay here and work downstairs in GHQ signal center instead of as a sub-division of it, or we will go to Korea. There is a more remote possibility that we will go to Japan. Your guess is as good as mine. Meanwhile we are awaiting answer to request for replacements for men going home for discharge (situation has now cleared considerably and as a result my morale has improved immensely). If granted, it will make our old team with one exception, the same as was in the advanced party at Okie. There is a possibility that four members of this detachment, including yours truly, may be recommended for boost in rank to T/4.”

Someone asked me the other day how many points you have Dave, and I couldn’t tell him. We you kindly remove my embarrassment next time you write? Did you get a battle star for the Easter Sunday landing?

Of course others can do it but how nice it would be to have a Dan out getting Christmas greens to decorate the house, and a Dave to fix up the tree or to improvise appropriate Christmas table decorations, and a Ced to spread his kindly goodwill spirit generally, and in saying this I am not unmindful of the blessing of the A.P.’s and R.P.’s that will be on hand.

DAD

Tomorrow, two Christmas cards to Ced.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Chillun (2) – News From Dan and Paulette – December, 1945

Page 2    12/16/45

And now for the distant ones. Just as we are beginning to wonder when will hear from busy Dan again, out pops a letter, usually short, with a promise to write again later and give us the lowdown. The last one from Aix, France, dated Nov. 30th, says: “I’ve seen So. France at last. We drove through freezing fog from Versailles to Dijon two days ago and from Dijon to Marseilles (via Lyon and Aix) yesterday. We are staying in a first-rate hotel where thermal springs furnish hot water that put patent medicines to shame – – isn’t anything they won’t cure. I’ve been on the go since I popped up to Calais last Sat., and I am still fatigued, so I’ll tack on my latest order from S.R. (Sears Roebuck) and sign off until another evening when I intend to tell you more about what I have seen and done since renouncing the Army, God bless its impoverished soul!”

O. K., Dan, old Benedict, thy orders shalt have my earnest attention; in fact, Sears already have the latest one you sent, and if they maintain their usual ration you will in due time receive about 50% of the items therein listed, but unless you are receiving better service in package deliveries than usual, it will probably be 1946 before they finally reach you. Meantime I will be interested if any of the packages containing your T-shirts have arrived yet.

But that’s not the only news from France. Daughter Paulette has written another welcome letter (ably translated by Dan). She says: “You see, Dad, not yet do I write you in English. I don’t dare. I am not yet good enough in English. Life here in Calais is not very gay but the merchants are beginning to regain their courage. Houses are being rebuilt, but the food problem is always the same, which isn’t saying much. Here at home my two brothers are continuing their studies. They like Dan and everybody else also finds him charming, and now with his officer’s uniform he looks stunning. How disappointed you must have been to know we could not be in Trumbull before next year. I should have liked very much to have joined you sooner but unfortunately our good intentions proved futile, and while I am upset to have kept your son from you, your patience will be rewarded by the fact that we shall be three instead of two. It is such a wonderful happiness for Dan and me, and here at home there is much joy also. The arrival of baby is the constant topic. He will be like a tiny king. We still have the bassinet which belonged to my youngest brother. When I speak of my baby it is always in the masculine because I believe it will be a little boy. I hope so much that he will resemble his Papa. Is Alfred still in Trumbull? I am impatient to meet all my brothers and sisters. And Dave, have you news of him?”

Tomorrow, the conclusion to this letter. On Friday, two Christmas cards for Ced.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Dear Ced (2) – Barbara Visits Roanoke Rapids – May, 1942

 

page 2     5/31/42

Barbara spent last weekend with Dan, staying at a little hotel at Roanoke Rapids, and enjoyed herself very much. She says Dan looks fine and seems quite contented. He has been experimenting with third dimensional photos in color, and eight slides he has sent home are startlingly realistic. Various views of Dave, Dick, Bissie, Butch, etc., taken at Trumbull, almost speak to you. Dan makes a suggestion I am seriously thinking of following if things break right. He says: “If Barbara has done right by “Little Nell” Guion, she has given you a vivid, perhaps lurid, description of the raptures of Roanoke Rapids. I hope that she has succeeded so well that nothing will do but that you-all will make a pilgrimage to the shrine of old St. Dan “Mephistopheles” Guion, perhaps pausing enroute at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds (long enough to be convinced of whatever they are trying to prove). I suggest the possibility of coming on first of July, at which time I am hoping to get a furlough. I could go back no’th with you for a couple of weeks visit.

I wish I had time to quote Lad’s 11-page letter, all of which is interesting, but the hour is drawing late. I wish I could complete this letter with the report of what Ced has been up to for the last month but for some reason no mail from Alaska has been received since Ced last wrote on April 15th

Dan and Lad will be interested to know that I spent yesterday afternoon collecting all their woolen civies, including Lad’s long blue overcoat, and subjecting them all to a demothing treatment. The smell that still lingers in my room as a result is not half so unpleasant as that pervading the rooms downstairs, due to what must be a leaky sewer pipe in the cellar. I have sent for a man to come tomorrow to remedy the matter but am looking forward to getting upstairs where I can close the door and open the window and get some clean fresh air.

ADG - Alfred Duryee Guion at about 1 yr old in 1885

Alfred Duryee Guion

          After all these years I am learning something about myself. I had occasion to send to New York City recently for a copy of my birth certificate to comply with a possible government requirement, and learned that one week after my birth (at the time the certificate was filed) no name had been decided for the new child. Place of birth was given as 1159 5th Ave (corner of 78th St.). I’ll bet it looks quite different now. My father’s age was given as 31 at the time.

And that’s all from Trumbull at this time.

Many happy returns, old son, and may your next birthday find you in the best of health and contentment celebrating the event in a world at peace, in Trumbull, Conn., Surrounded by those who love and miss you, and particularly, your old

DAD

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting an “Occasional Report of the Guion Family as of May 31, 1942”. On Thursday and Friday, letters from Lad at The Ordnance Training Center, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland.

On Saturday and Sunday, I’ll have some more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion